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Captain K
I'm playing a Face-type character for the first time in a long while, and I'm curious how the concepts of social engineering have been handled in other games.

The only specific rules question I can think of is: what components would be necessary to convincingly spoof an e-mail or phone call? It seems that since at this point everything is Matrix-based, you'd need someone to perform the obligatory Matrix actions to create a convincing electronic footprint, and then whoever was doing the typing (or talking) would need to roll Con. For a straight-up impersonation phone call I'm guessing you'd need a Voice Modulator with the Secondary Pattern function, and if there was a video component to the connection you'd want to use a latex mask (or the bioware equivalent) and the Disguise skill.

Am I missing anything here? The only thing I'm not really sure of is how sophisticated the Secondary Pattern implant has to be to fool metahuman ears--the BBB makes it clear that fooling a voice recognition system comes down to an opposed test, but it doesn't mention trying to fool a metahuman listener. On the one hand, I'm imagining that even a Rating 1 Secondary Pattern would be enough to fool a flesh-and-blood listener, but on the other hand that doesn't seem terribly sporting from a rules balance sense. Maybe you'd roll Con or Disguise + the Pattern implant's rating vs. the target's Perception roll? I'm not really sure.

I've just spent a good hour or so browsing wikis on phreaking and social engineering, so this topic is on my mind. I'm hoping some of you folks have handled various aspects of social engineering and phreaking in your games, and how much fun has resulted. If I had more specific questions to ask, I'd ask them, but maybe some discussion will bring more interesting topics to light.
And the Face better have done both his homework on whomever he is trying to impersonate.

What happened once to my face was this.

On a run, we actually wanted to send out a Lonestar patrol someplace, so they would be a bother to our foes, while we would be working somewhere else. The perfect disguise, the voice, equally perfect, the words flowing from my face's mouth like liquid gold, just as the person he was impersonating would have done. And then, this question came, while the fake contact was redirecting some assets.

'How did the Bears do? I missed the game because of work?'

Turned out, he was talking about his daughters soccer team ... and that the person my face was impersonating coached them one saturday a month. While I (as a player) was completely dumbfounded, my character eventually answered by coughing slightly, apologizing for that, and telling that he missed that game as well, and gave it over to .. that guy .. you know ....

And that wasn't by far the most evil question a storyteller could ask in casual conversation with an NPC. Impersonation is really really dangerous, because metahumans are smarter than machines (okay, most). And minor things that aren't very likely to spring out in detail can bust you.

As a suggestion for face characters. Also have an eidetic memory, so you do memorize all those silly little details about the target your immitating. Remember, you did do your homework didn't you ?
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